Tonya Earley

Ex-boyfriend shot woman in front of their kids, then killed himself

November 10, 2009

Police said a woman was fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend Tuesday at a Michigan City area school bus stop while their children looked on.

About 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, police were called to LaPorte County Road 1000 North and County Road 425 West, just east of Michigan City, where officers found 30-year-old Tonya Earley dead from a single gunshot, police said. The shot was fired either as the bus was pulling up or just seconds prior to the bus arriving.

LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said Earley's body was found lying in the street beside her car and the children were still in the vehicle when she was shot.

"That's something they're going to remember the rest of their lives. It's a very unfortunate situation," Mollenhauer said.

About 10 minutes later, police found her ex-boyfriend -- 41-year-old David Streeting -- dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a vehicle about a half-mile north from where Earley was shot, police said.

Investigators also learned that an acquaintance of Earley was with her at the time of the shooting and he fled when she was shot. Police said he suffered an injury while leaving the scene of the shooting. Police did not release his name, the type of injury he suffered, his condition or how he knew Earley.

Earley and Streeting, both of LaPorte County, were the biological parents of the children, ages 8 and 10, police said.

Michele Pokuta, who lives on County Road 1000 North, was driving to her job in New Buffalo, Mich., and saw the body at the crime scene. She said police had not arrived yet and Earley was lying on her back with one arm draped over her chest.

The school bus was stopped and the driver was on his cell phone.

"I was pretty shaken up. At first, I couldn't think straight," Pokuta said.

Because the shooter already had fled the scene when officers arrived, authorities placed Springfield Elementary School -- two miles away -- under a lockdown, police said.

Mollenhauer said Earley lived at Green Acres Trailer Park and drove a short distance to her parents' home, where the couple's children were residing. She picked them up and took them to the bus stop to see them off to school.

Because the couple used to live together, Mollenhauer said Streeting likely knew exactly when to show up at the bus stop.

"When she pulled up, he pulled up," Mollenhauer said.

According to court records, a hearing was held for the couple Sept. 9 and an order was issued governing child visitation and child support.

Mollenhauer said preliminary information from the investigation indicates there was a protective order against Streeting.

Michigan City school officials did not return calls regarding the lockdown or students who might have been of the school bus.


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